Last issue, we asked young ladies from ages 12 to 16 to read Lady Jane Grey’s letter to her sister and imagine they were in similar circumstances. It was a difficult choice among so many fine submissions, but Alexandra Rowland is the winner of the Silver Medallion. We thank you all for your excellent essays!

V1-I2My Dearest Friend,

Today I have found out that I am to be executed. Although I grieve to leave my dear family and friends, I rejoice that I will soon be in the presence of my God.

As I sit in my chair, a prisoner, I’m thinking over my life. Facing my death, I wonder whether I have really lived for Christ? Did I live justly and righteously? Did I treat others as I would want to be treated? These questions go through my mind in these last hours. What would I change if I could live my life over again? Yet, I realize that I cannot live my life over again and I thank God for the life I have been blessed with. I have learned from the mistakes I have made and they have drawn me closer to God.

My dear friend, I desire you too to learn from my mistakes. Anger has been a snare for us both. I beg you not to let the sun go down on your anger for you will always regret it. Where anger has owned me, I have lost my heart for God. The Bible explains how our anger grieves the Holy Spirit, admonishing us “…to not let the sun go down on (our) wrath.” (Ephesians 4:26b). From this dingy prison cell I can tell you without hesitation to live each day as it is your last. Before you know it, you will be called into account for the way you have lived. I write as one who has done many things in my life that I am truly sorry for. I have often lived for the moment, believing that I would live forever, failing to live for eternity. Do not make this mistake my friend. Please realize that although we do not know where the end is, there is an end.

I speak as one who has known temptation, but who has also known the help of my Savior. Nothing can be more glorious, or tough, than living for Christ. He died that we might live; it is no great thing to dedicate our lives to living for Him. Please remember as you think of the times we have had together, that all that is good in me is not because of me, but because of my glorious Savior. Oh, my dear, dear friend. God has done ever so much; He has given me life, though it is short. I can never take it for granted. He has also given me the promise of eternal life.

I often imagine what heaven will be like, and what it will be like to see my Savior. I wonder will I stand in awe, or will I be dancing and singing with joy? My dear friend, as I must leave this prison and face death, I plead with you once again; trust the Lord Jesus Christ, only He can deliver the sinner and promise eternal life. I pray earnestly that we will meet once again in heaven.

Alexandra Rowland

Alexandra Rowland, 16, lives in Auburn, CA. She is a junior at Cornerstone Christian School in Roseville.